LAKEVIEW — Mark Thomas is back in the race.
The longtime entrepreneur — who owns The Alley, Taboo Tabou and several other shops near Belmont and Clark — suspended his bid for 44th Ward alderman in August, citing ongoing health issues.
Thomas said he had neck surgery earlier this year, and the recovery time took significantly longer than planned.
"My ability to get out there and actually campaign was kind of poor," he said.
But on Tuesday, Thomas confirmed he was back in the running. He said in a phone interview he's feeling better and even threw in $25,000 of his own money to get the campaign rolling.
"We've done our polling, and I have name recognition," he said. "I have really good name recognition. The Alley stores have been in the neighborhood for 40 years. ... We think we can win."
Thomas said he wants to help small business owners, push for more police officers and create a system that allows for more community input, if elected.
He's also opposed to the CTA's proposed Belmont Bypass project.
"They can't even prove that there's even a need for this project," he said. "I would push hard against it. It's a horrible project."
Ald. Tom Tunney, who's been in office since 2003, has said he's seeking re-election.
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